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Phenyl mercaptan

General Description

  • Synonyms: Benzenethiol; Mercaptobenzene; Thiophenol
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: P105
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 108-98-5
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: DC0525000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2337 131
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Benzenethiol: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001): 0.1 ppm (0.45 mg/m3) TWA
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.1 ppm (0.5 mg/m3) (15 Minutes) Ceiling (REL listed under Benzenethiol)

Health Factors

  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory system; dermatitis; cyanosis; sore throat; cough, wheezing, dyspnea (breathing difficulty), pulmonary edema, pneumonitis; headache, dizziness, CNS depression; eye redness, pain, blurred vision; nausea, vomiting; kidney, liver, spleen damage
  • Health Effects: Irritation – Eye, Nose, Throat---Marked (HE14); Offensive Odor (HE20)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS, kidneys, liver, spleen
  • Notes:
  1. OSHA does not have a PEL for phenyl mercaptan.
  2. Phenyl mercaptan is listed by the FDA as a synthetic flavoring substance that is permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption (21 CFR 172.515).
  3. The inhalational LC50s in rats and mice were reported to be 33 ppm and 28 ppm, respectively, with most of the deaths at concentrations comparable to the LC50s occurring 2-15 days following a single 4-hour exposure to phenyl mercaptan.
  4. The NOAELs for developmental toxicity during gestation were 20 mg/kg/day and ≥40 mg/kg/day in rats and rabbits, respectively, when phenyl mercaptan was administered by oral gavage in corn oil. Phenyl mercaptan also had reproductive toxicity in rats with an indeterminate NOAEL, as the lowest-dose group (9 mg/kg/day) had increased liver and kidney weights, as well as microscopic changes in these organs.

Literature Basis:

Date Last Revised: 03/16/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Coated Glass Fiber Filter (37mm Gelman Type A) Coating is 5% (w/v) mercuric acetate solution
  • analytical solvent: 25% Hydrochloric acid
  • maximum volume: 20 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2075)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: Protect samples from light until analysis.

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